Senior researcher from the Indonesia Science Institute (LIPI), Syamsudin Haris, says, the presidential threshold as implemented in Indonesia today is an anomaly for presidential government system. Syamsudin explains, the presidential threshold is implemented due to scheduling error between presidential election and legislative election. According to Syamsudin, presidential election should be conducted prior to legislative election so that the result of presidential election will affect the result of legislative election, not the other way around.
“In a presidential system, presidential election should be conducted prior to legislative election. In Indonesia, it’s the other way around. This is why we have presidential threshold which is an anomaly,” says Syamsudin, during a hearing session at the House of Representatives, Jakarta (01/18).
Syamsudin also says that, within the framework of concurrent elections, presidential threshold is irrelevant. This is because any political party or coalition of political parties that wish to propose a presidential candidate must at least acquire 20 percent of total seats in Parliament or 25 percent of total votes in the previous national legislative elections. This would be another anomaly regarding the presidential system.
“This is rather peculiar. In a non-concurrent election, presidential threshold is already considered as an anomaly. In a concurrent election, it’s two times the anomaly,” says Syamsudin.
Syamsudin hopes the Special Team for the new Elections Law Bill will formulate an election system that is congruent with the idea of people’s sovereignty, not only to accommodate the interest of the political elite.